Lakers organization wants to succeed with Russell Westbrook

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On Tuesday, Russell Westbrook decided to exercise the player option on the final year of his contract to remain a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

It was a move that was widely expected, and it doesn’t automatically mean he will be with the team when next season starts, as he could still be traded.

But in recent weeks, more and more reports coming out of the Lakers camp suggest the team is more invested in keeping him in the fold.

While on “The Pat McAfee Show,” NBA insider Shams Charania said the organization wants to make things work with the former league MVP.

“Russell Westbrook opted in, he’s gonna opt-in, it’s a no-brainer, $47 million. His future is in L.A. The Lakers want to see this work this upcoming season from everything I’ve been told,” Charania said. “You know, there have been different trade scenarios that have been thrown out. I guess speculated on. But with a new coach Darvin Ham, I really believe this front office group, this management group, the coaching staff, Russell Westbrook, they all want this to work. And you know, we’ve seen Darvin Ham, Rob Pelinka, they’ve all been vocal publicly saying we want him back and we want him in a position where he can play both sides of the ball, we want him to be more of a defender. Darvin Ham’s going to bring that and I do believe they feel like Russell Westbrook is the fit for this team.”

Ham has spoken positively about Westbrook to the media, and he and Pelinka (the team’s general manager) have expressed their desire for Westbrook to put defense first.

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Despite all his flaws, Westbrook can be a productive member of the Lakers next season.

If he truly buys into being a committed and attentive defender and is active without the ball when the team is forced into its halfcourt sets, it could work.

Having said that, fans should still expect L.A. to at least explore potential Westbrook trades and leave no stone unturned when it comes to improving the roster.


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